Breakfast at The Falcon

Posted: May 10, 2010 in food

Breakfast at The Falcon, originally uploaded by rowlando.

We were going to eat at Recipease but due to time constraints, we ended up in The Falcon. Wrong move. It was the worth breakfast I have had in a long time. Good pub, very bad breakfasts!


Last photoshop class Karl introduced us to toy cameras. He brought 2 cameras in, one of which was made by lomography. The ethos behind toy cameras is that there are no rules, just take photos without worrying what all the functions are on the modern day cameras. Toy cameras take film, usually square film, are plastic, cheap looking, have a single unknow fixed aperture and a button. The whole point is simplicity. Here are ten rules taken from the Lomography website:

  1. Take your camera everywhere you go.
  2. Use it any time – day and night.
  3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.
  4. Try the shot from the hip.
  5. Approach the objects of your Lomographic desire as close as possible.
  6. Don’t think. (William Firebrace)
  7. Be fast.
  8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film.
  9. Afterwards either.
  10. Don’t worry about any rules.

The photos taken by toy cameras have a number of common attributes. High contrast, sharp in the middle and blurred round the edges, vignetting. The characteristics displayed by cheap cameras are often unwanted, but these inperfections always lead to a unique, individualistic style.

In class we took a photo and used photoshop to erode the image so it looked like it was taken by a toy camera. Here’s my first attempt:

Before photoshop

After photoshop

Not too bad an effort. I tried again with a photo I took in Rome’s Navona Piazza.

Before photoshop

After photoshop

Alan, distorted

Posted: November 12, 2009 in photography

At tonight’s photoshop class I learnt about brushes. I downloaded a number of brushes, one a grid brush set by ~cubsocer10-stock. I took a photo, splatter some paint over it, played with opacity of the different layers, distorted Alan’s head with the Transform > Distort tool, copied the distored hairpiece and applied a number of filters. I quite like the result.

Before Photoshop

After photoshop

One Taste Festival 2009 in Balham

Posted: November 12, 2009 in london, music

See us in the audience?

Me and the Smithster, as she calls herself, went to a festival that was new to both of us on Sunday, One Taste Festival. The venue was The Bedford in Balham, a 15 minute walk down the hill from home, a good start. We arrived a couple of hours after the doors opened and received the last 2 of a hundred goodie bags, inside being a couple of CDs, some flyers and party poppers. We wondered around lost for a bit, getting our bearings, found the bar and started to feel at home. One Taste is best described by Amelia’s Magazine. The Smithster knew a friend of a friend of The La De Dahs so went and checked them out in the Globe, one of three rooms setup for live music. They were great and I caught a bit of their version of Creep on my crappy camera.

Whilst the Smithster was getting the beers in, I moved to a better vantage point, position us in the centre of the floor to get perfect stereo, something I always try to do when at gigs. I like my ears to get an equal thumping. Next up were Gabby Young and Other Animals. This was a treat, and at 4pm I thought the festival had reached its peak. However, this quality and enjoyment level lasted for the next 3 hours, with more bands, poets and rappers, and singer-songwriters. We didn’t leave the Globe in search of something better at any point because every single act was that good. And there was literally minutes between each act so no time to get bored and wonder off in another direction. We did miss The Correspondents, the 1 Giant Leap videos, Tim Freke stand-up philosophy,  thing. We did see Kate Tempest (angry), Gideon Conn (this man makes you smile), Laura Dockrill (funny) and Mark Hole (very good album and completely bonkers) amongst others.

Weekend of farty art

Posted: October 25, 2009 in art, london

Yesterday I took a look round the free bit of the Royal Academy of Arts as there was a bloody long queue for the Amish Kapoor exhibition (see his shiny balls in the collage below). After this wondered over to National Portrait gallery, then rested the pins sitting on a pew in St. Martins in the Field, listening to an orchestra and choir rehearse a couple of numbers.

Walked over to Battersea Park to check out the Affordable Art Fair. Saw loads of amazing art but no affordable art. These people live on a different planet. I guess Chelsea is just over the water, where all the rich posh twats live, so the art is affordable to them. Affordable is a relative term. I await the Really Affordable Art Fair, where price tags are £100 or less.

Here’s some of the art I liked:

In the middle of the day when walking around in search of a Sunday roast in a pub, came across a pigeon that had somehow hung itself from a railway bridge. Nasty stuff.

At the last couple of photoshop classes I learnt about a few more basic tools. Magnetic lasso is a pretty damn good tool for selecting parts of a photo. It will take a bit of practice to master these essential tools, plus learning more advanced techniques that help me to create exactly what I had envisioned.

Messing around with a few of the tools I know I used a couple of my snaps to create this monstrosity :

Strange montage

Strange montage

The week before I tweaked a photo by cropping, playing with brightness/contrast, cloning parts of the image and adding some text. Not too bad, except for the dodgy colour near the bottom right of the image:

David Cronenburgs Wife @ 12 Bar Club

David Cronenburg's Wife @ 12 Bar Club

Before/after photoshop

Posted: October 8, 2009 in photography

Tonight was the 3rd class of “Working with Photography: From blogs to book publishing” at a college round the corner from my home. Karl Grupe is teaching us the basics of photoshop in a fun, open manner. I’ve always been confused by Photoshop, never having the patience to learn it myself. So far we have learnt about burning, dodging, cloning, healing, cropping, zooming and fonts.  With a few pointers I’ve managed to get the knack of these basic tools. I’m rather pleased with my efforts tonight. What d’ya think?

Piazza Navona

Before photoshop

Piazza Navona

After Photoshop cleanup